The South Korean general public take mandatory military service extremely seriously, as they view it as a duty for males to serve their time. Korean celebrities are no exceptions, as they too are expected to fulfill their services with no questions asked. There have been a few Korean celebrities who ran into controversies regarding their military service and were greatly criticized by the general public, here are 4 of them.
1. MC Mong
In 2010, MC Mong was accused of deliberately trying to dodge his military service by purposefully pulling out his teeth. MC Mong denied any of these claims, as he explained that the teeth were pulled out due to poor care. This didn’t stop the general public, as they constantly attacked MC Mong for his actions, and viewed his statements as lies. MC Mong would later be cleared of charges that he intentionally pulled out his teeth to avoid his military service. However, he was found guilty of deliberately delaying his military enlistment on false ground. To this day, the general public hasn’t forgiven MC Mong and still criticize him.
2. Song Seung Heon
It was revealed in 2004 that Song Seung Heon had submitted tainted urine samples, and lied about having certain health conditions to get exempted from his military service. Song Seung Heon claimed to have medical conditions, such as diabetes, but these reports ended up being false. After public outcry, Song Seung Heon apologized and immediately served his time in the military.
3. Kim Mu Yeol
Kim Mu Yeol was questioned by the general public when they accused him of dodging his mandatory military service. He was given his final notice for enlistment in 2009, as he had been postponing it for around 2 years. Kim Mu Yeol requested that his enlistment be postponed, as he claimed that he was dealing with a knee injury, but it was rejected. Kim Mu Yeol then was granted exemption once he revealed that he was from a low-income family and that he was the sole provider for his family. While Kim Mu Yeol admits to having told no lies, he still enlisted in 2012 due to the damage done to his image, as well as the outcry from the general public.
4. Steve Yoo (Yoo Seung Jun)
Steve Yoo‘s case is one of the most famous cases of evading military service. Right before Steve Yoo was supposed to fulfill his military service, he gave up his Korean citizenship to acquire an American one. While this removed his mandatory military service, he suffered great consequences. The South Korean government considered this an act of desertion, which forced him to not only leave South Korea but be banned from entering the country too. Despite his constant apologies throughout the years, the general public still gives cold reactions to anything he does.